URLs du Jour

2019-10-14

[Amazon Link]

  • Hey, happy Columbus Day to you folks out there. An amusing story from across the Salmon Falls River, presented by Campus Reform: UMaine PUBLICLY SHAMES College Republicans for Columbus Day comments in CAMPUS-WIDE EMAIL. It's a long story, starting with Maine legislatively changing the official name from Columbus Day to "Indigenous Peoples' Day.”

    After Waterville, Maine Republican Mayor Nick Isgro publicly announced his disapproval of the change at an Oct. 1 city council meeting, the University of Maine College Republicans made a Facebook post, thanking Isgro for his comments and for "standing up to the Radical Left-Wing agenda,” as reported by News Center Maine.

    […]

    After the group voiced its opinion, UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy and Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Life Robert Dana sent an email to the student body to "provide the University of Maine position on recent Facebook posts by the UMaine College Republicans on their private Facebook page."

    Which (in turn) spurred outrage from the College Republicans who didn't appreciate being singled out for criticism by UMaine officialdom for expressing their semi-reasonable, semi-literate opinions about Native Americans. (What exactly are they referring to about the "bible", though?)

    True fact: President Ferrini-Mundy and I used to have our offices in the same building at the University Near Here.


  • Megan McArdle doesn't hold back in the WaPo: The NBA executives who bow to China shame themselves and their country.

    There aren’t enough synonyms for “cowardly” to capture the craven pusillanimity of America’s corporate capitalists who have abjectly prostrated themselves before Chinese government censors. Those spineless weaklings whose expense accounts tower over their atrophied consciences have shamed themselves and their country.

    On Thursday, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, when asked about human rights in China, actually tried to suggest a moral equivalence between an admittedly less-than-perfect American system of government and a Communist regime that operates concentration camps, imprisons dissidents and violently cracks down on democratic protest.

    Megan points to a handy GitHub site that "names and shames" corporations kowtowing to the Chinese dictators. A handy reference for your future purchasing decisions.


  • At NR, Kevin D. Williamson notes a certain similarity: Elizabeth Warren Is Jussie Smollett.

    Elizabeth Warren has a moving story about being fired from a teaching job because she was pregnant, a story that perfectly complements her political narrative that she is the tribune and champion of those who have been treated unfairly by the powerful. Joe Biden has a moving — and horrifying — story about his wife and daughter being killed by a drunk driver, a story that similarly could not have been designed more perfectly to bolster his political image as a man who can be counted on to soldier on in the face of adversity.

    Of course, neither story is true.

    Are we still caring about that sort of thing?

    Elizabeth Warren has long pretended to be a person of color — a “woman of color,” the Harvard law faculty called her. (That color is Pantone 11-0602.) What Senator Warren has in common with Jussie Smollett turns out to have nothing to do with skin tone. Smollett, you’ll recall, regaled the nation with the story of a couple of violent, Trump-loving, MAGA-hat-wearing white supremacists who just happened to be cruising a gay neighborhood in Chicago on the coldest night of the year, who also just happened to be fans of Empire, who also just happened to have some rope at hand. Who happened, as it turns out, to be a couple of Nigerian brothers and colleagues of Smollett’s.

    Good victimhood tales continue to pop up, Liz is just the latest teller. I think it's safe to assume that the more convenient the yarn is in furthering the "victim's" political/economic/personal goals, the less likely the story is to be true.

    Should you not be able to guess for yourself, Pantone's page for 11-062 is here.


  • Meanwhile at Cato, John Samples talks about Warren’s Dangerous Lie. No, not that one. A different one:

    Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign has a new Facebook ad claiming Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has endorsed Donald Trump for re-election. That claim is false, and Warren admits as much in the ad. Warren is not trying to mislead people about Zuckerberg. She is trying to control what can be said on Facebook. That is much more dangerous than any lie appearing in a campaign ad.

    Recently the Trump campaign ran an ad on Facebook saying former vice president Joe Biden had sought to fire a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating a company whose board included Biden’s son. Many on the left like Warren think this claim is a bald-faced lie. Trump’s supporters probably think it’s obvious something is rotten in the state of Ukraine. Many others, not all fans of the President, find the charges plausible. The Hill newspaper gingerly calls the Biden claims “unsubstantiated allegations.”

    I would have thought this sort of thing would have been settled by the unanimous Supreme Court ruling in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus. If you haven't read the Cato amici curiae brief on the case (co-author: P. J. O'Rourke!), here you go. Highly recommended.


  • Michael Huemer has worthwhille thoughts on Politics and Leadership. More specifically, the inherent problem with "democracy":

    The problem is that we have inborn preferences, including especially the preference for strongman leaders, which are not only uncorrelated with the objective quality of leaders, but are actually strongly anti-correlated with leadership quality. We have a preference for the type of personalities that, when given power, are most likely to use it to exploit and harm others — people who are aggressive, over-confident, and low in empathy. Indeed, such people are the most likely to undermine democracy.

    These sorts of instinct-based preferences, I would conjecture, are more pronounced among the masses, as compared to the elites of our society. For this reason, it is the preferences of the masses that are the greatest threat to the masses. The elites are needed to protect the masses from themselves. If the masses get exactly what they want in the short term, they will gladly surrender their liberty, surrender democracy, and submit themselves and their descendants to a tyrant. (For more, see this book, from which the title of this section is taken: The Irony of Democracy.)

    The founders would be dismayed by the popular clamor for "democracy".


Last Modified 2019-10-15 5:21 AM EST